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While The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones only made $31 million domestically when it hit the box office in 2013, Cassandra Clare’s book franchise is popular enough that ABC Family feels it might be a better entertainment medium for the series. That’s right, The Mortal Instruments is coming to television. The network has given The Mortal Instruments a straight-to-series order that will see Clary, Jace, Simon and co. get at least 13 episodes on the air.
Production on The Mortal Instruments is expected to begin in May, so we should be hearing casting news for the series soon. In terms of the creative end, when we first heard about the project last October, we learned Ed Dector (The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Helix) is set to executive produce and be the showrunner on the ABC Family series. The drama itself follows Clary Fray as she learns about a secret world where vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures are present and Shadowhunters—humans enhanced with angel blood—work to protect the world from demons. If you need a refresher, here’s the original movie trailer.
It might seem like a weird play to take an unsuccessful movie and try to turn it into a TV series, but I’ve seen worse ideas. Most of the big problems with the movie stemmed from the fact that the film could not get deep into the mythology Cassandra Clare has created, leading to a fast-paced but confusing flick. You can do a lot more with 13 episodes than you can with a 2-hour film, which is probably why the sequel was cancelled but the TV series is moving forward.
The movie was based on the first book in the series City of Bones, but Clare has already published several books following Clary’s adventures, not to mention the prequel series The Infernal Devices. In short, there’s a lot of material to draw from should the ABC Family production become a success.
If you were a fan of the flick, the new show does not look to be picking up where the movie left off. Instead, THR says the network plans to relaunch the series, meaning fans will get a new cast and probably the origins of Clary learning about Shadowhunters all over again. This obviously makes sense, as Lena Headey—who appeared in the movie—probably doesn’t have time to cut out from Game of Thrones to pop up in the ABC Family drama, and the other actors have also moved on to different projects.
I’m not sure how The Mortal Instruments will fit in with ABC Family’s lineup, which mostly includes realistic programming like The Fosters and Chasing Life and realistic-ish programming like Pretty Little Liars. Regardless, we’ll let you know who gets cast.